Sunday, May 18, 2008

Post-It's My Park! Day Observation

Some people take the whole concept of "It's My Park!" differently than the original intention. According to the City Parks Foundation, the intent is "to help restore and preserve their community's local green space and recreation areas, all while having fun and building neighborhood connections." Some residents and visitors took it as a chance to claim the park as their own, personal playground and trash-heap.

Due to our son's very early waking hour lately, we were out in the park just before 7:30 AM this morning (Sunday). This is what we saw:

Thankfully, the trash was consistently food-wrapper oriented. There was no evidence of dirty diapers and used clothing/bedding this morning. However, the wrapper trash was quite carpet-like in its presence. What I truly don't understand (and I know this is an age-old question from those who feel a sense of responsibility to their neighborhoods) is why don't people just put their trash in the baskets? They were less than half-full up near the playground and around the "bench walk." Granted, at the back end (7th Ave) section of the park, several baskets were full...of household bags of trash. However, that back area was practically devoid of trash. Now, it could be that the Sunset Park Staff had already cleaned up the back, but they usually start on the front of the park. And they do a great job cleaning up after the selfish, lazy, immature people who can't hang onto their wrappers and tissues and plastic and bottles and bags and cobs and other disposable objects. Take a look at the same space (but from the opposite side) just an hour later.

Pretty solid work, I'd say.

The downside of doing good work is that it's positive reinforcement for people to continue being selfish. The argument I get from my high school students is: "He gets paid to clean it up." Listen, maintenance of a space is different from cleaning up after your lazy butt! Yes, the staff will pick it up, but they shouldn't have to pick-up after you. That should have ended around the age of four. Carry trash to the basket. It's not going to hurt. Really.

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